Sunday, September 30, 2007

Judge had no right to ban
homeless couple from having more kids

A controversial, first-of-its-kind court ruling that ordered a homeless and drug-addicted couple to have no more children has been overturned.

A family court judge overstepped her bounds when she banned Stephanie Pendleton and Rodney Evers Sr. from having more children until they could redeem the four they lost to foster care. "We conclude that the court had no authority to prohibit (Pendleton) from procreating," said the Appellate Division of the New York Supreme Court in a written decision.

In 2004, Judge Marilyn O'Conner ruled that Pendleton and Evers had neglected their children — three of whom tested positive for cocaine at birth — and should have no more children until they showed they could take care of them.

“All babies deserve more than to be born to parents who have proven they cannot possibly raise or parent a child,” wrote Judge O’Connor. “The cycle of neglect often created by such births needs to stop. Our society has reached the breaking point with respect to raising neglected children, often born with extraordinary needs.”

Read the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle report here.


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